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Senator Jacobs calls for budget support in fight against Lyme Disease

Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-23 14:40:08-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Senator Chris Jacobs called on the Governor and Assembly leaders Saturday to support $1 million in the state budget to help combat Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases.

“New York State has the misfortune of being at the epicenter of the Lyme and tick-borne disease epidemic with approximately 9,000 cases of Lyme and other TBD’s being reported annually to the New York State Department of Health,” said Senator Jacobs. “Clearly more resources need to be committed to bolster education, prevention and research initiatives.”

Jacobs says the Governor and Assembly have never included any meaningful Lyme Disease funding in their budget proposals.

Jacobs also says the record $1 million funding in last fiscal year's budget was due to pressure from the Lyme and Tick-borne Disease Task Force members during final budget talks.

“Funding is critical, but at the same time we must make strides in researching and analyzing policy proposals that will allow us to establish uniform and effective treatment protocols,” said Jacobs. “That can be a great next step in helping us address insurance questions that are currently leaving some individuals and families with the unfair and unreasonable choice of enduring a great financial burden or sacrificing quality of life.”

The are the specific bills Jacobs is co-sponsoring to address the issues:
• S.1247 – Establishes grants to support graduate medical education in Lyme and TBD’s
• S.1306 – Creates a pilot program for Lyme and tick-borne disease testing in children
• S.1307 – Establishes requirements for reporting Lyme and TBD’s after death
• S.1345 – Requires the New York State health care quality and cost containment commission to issue a report on coverage for chronic Lyme disease